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1960: Making of a President TURN ONE

January 28th, 2008 by Troy Goodfellow · 6 Comments · AAR, AAR1960, Board Games

What We Are Doing
Some Basic Terms


Troy plays Kennedy, Bruce plays Nixon. The card played is listed. If CP is spent, the states that have changes in support are noted. Blue numbers means a Kennedy lead, Red a Nixon lead.

START: 314-223

Phase 1:
-2 red -1 blue initiative Nixon
KENNEDY 1: Tricky Dick 4CP — NY +1, NJ +1, PA +2 no change
NIXON 1: Momentum WEST / Event (+1 Momentum) +7 307-230

Troy: Like a real campaign, you need to economize a little. The west, for example, is extremely unfriendly to me and full of crappy little states. Plus, it costs me two campaign points to get there from the vote rich and more amiable Northeast. So my campaign plan is to focus on my strong points (East and South) and hope for the best in the Midwest. I play my 4 CP to set up bulwarks in the East and prepare to release my momentum card.

Bruce: The game starts with a substantial Kennedy lead. We calculated this using the undecided voters to break ties in the (many) states with no initial support cubes in them. What this shows is that without endorsements, Nixon is in trouble since the final tiebreakers (undecideds) tilt to Kennedy. The only way to get endorsements is to win the issues. The only way to win the issues is to play on the issues track. Something to keep in mind.

Every time my Kennedy opponent plays a first-turn Campaigning action in the East, I suspect he has the Gathering Momentum: East card. In the hands of the Kennedy player on Turn 1, this is almost unanswerable as Nixon has to pay two CP just to get to the East from California. In order to match Troy in the number of states led, I’d have to expend 5CP, which is possible only by using the Nixon card and flipping it to its exhausted side. All other cards have a 4CP maximum (unless modified by an event). If Troy has the East card and we get into a fight over the East region, I may never get to play my West card. So I will let that region go and play Gathering Momentum: West right now. The nice thing about this is that 90% of these support cubes will never be removed, because it just doesn’t make any sense to spend CP on them. This protects me from an Endorsement which would break ties in the West. Except for CA, I consider this region locked up.

Phase 2:
KENNEDY 2: Momentum EAST / Event (+1 Momentum) +4 311-226
NIXON 2: Republican TV Spots / Event (+1 Media cube EAST/MIDWEST/SOUTH) no change

Troy: Bruce knew this was coming, and after his huge gains in the West with his momentum card, it doesn’t change a lot. It does force him to spend more chits bumping me out of vote rich Eastern states, but most importantly, it gets me another momentum to match his. Since so much of this game depends on getting the right cards in your hand, you never want to be at the wrong end of a momentum gap.

Bruce: Media Support is of questionable value in this game. I’m not convinced that the benefits (exemption from support checks in states being carried by your opponent, exemption from support checks in a state where your opponent is currently located) are worth spending an entire phase to draw cubes, especially since you really need a 3CP card to ensure you get a cube at all. But this event is nice, because it guarantees me the cubes, and since I doubt Troy will ever equal my three cubes, I will be able to re-arrange the issue order each turn to my advantage. Also, there are a couple cards that allow you to place extra support cubes in the region where you have media cubes. So I’ll use this event, and never worry about the media for the rest of the game. I wish it were that way in real life.

Phase 3:

KENNEDY 3: Suburban Voters / Event (+2 CA, +1 IL, +1 MI, +1 TX) 1 rest cube +32 343-194
NIXON 3: Nixon’s Pledge 4CP (+2 Defense, +1 Economy) no change
Kennedy Event -1 Momentum

Troy: This is a big event for me to play. Lots of gains in some very big states. But then Bruce takes away a momentum counter from me, and that could hurt.

Bruce: Time to start ensuring that I get endorsements and momentum for the next turn. The Issues track is a brilliant device for integrating the “issues” theme with the vote counting. Winning the issues gives you momentum which gives you greater flexibility with events, and it gives you endorsements which are used to break ties in states that have no support cubes for either candidate. But addressing the issues keeps you from campaigning directly that phase. It’s not super “realistic” but it’s a great game mechanic. I wish I were smart enough to invent game mechanics like this.

Phase 4:

KENNEDY 4: Pierre Salinger / Event (+3 Defense) = 1 Kennedy no change
NIXON 4: Lyndon Johnson 4 CP — +2 PA (even), +2 NY (1 Nixon) +45 239-298
Kennedy takes event +2 TX (3 Ken), +1 FL, +1 TN, +1 AL (2 Ken), -1 Momentum +21 319-218

Troy: I break onto the issue track with the Salinger card, but I know this advantage is only temporary. I wish I was as keen on the issue track as Bruce is. It’s so easy to forget about it, but you really can’t. Plus, the person who goes first in a turn is at a serious disadvantage issues wise, since your opponent can just respond to whatever you are doing, or, even worse, just lock up the issues on his/her final move. And the rewards can be game changing. Bruce is right that it’s a great mechanic, I just wish it was more front and center.

Bruce: The way events work in this game is that if you play a card for CP with an opponent’s event on it, your opponent can activate that event during your turn by playing one momentum. This makes keeping some momentum in hand very important. Troy grabbed an extra momentum this turn with that Gathering Momentum: East card, so he could potentially take advantage of both of the next events. Thus, my only defense is to pre-empt one of them. I can’t pre-empt this one because I don’t have enough momentum to pre-empt the next event also, and that one is brutal. So I’ll let Troy have the Lyndon Johnson event. And he uses it well.

Troy: Hey, hey, LBJ! How many votes did you get today?

Phase 5

KENNEDY 5: Trial of Gary Powers / Event +1 Momentum (Defense is already at top) no change
NIXON 5: Harvard Brain Trust 4 CP [pre-empt] -2 Momentum. +2 Defense (3 pts, 1 Nixon) +1 Civil Rights no change

Troy: I’m trying to keep momentum, since I think that it’s a resource worth hanging onto. It keeps Bruce from cavalierly spending high value cards with events that favor me. As disciplined as Capt. Powers is, he can’t get me enough juice to keep me in the issues track, so Bruce scoops it all up.

Bruce: No way am I giving Troy +1 to every debate card. That’s a pre-emption for me, and I spend 2 momentum. I’m not worried, though, because this is is the last phase of the turn, and I use it to ensure that I win every issue, giving me plenty of momentum for next turn.

Oh wait. It’s +1 to every issue. Oh well, that’s still worth pre-empting.

MOMENTUM DECAY: -1 Kennedy (3  2) 0 Nixon (1  1)
Nixon +1 Momentum, +1 Endorsement (South) no change, +1 Momentum / +1 Endorsement (Midwest) +11 229-308
ISSUE DECAY (zeroes out everything)

Each turn, you lose half of your accumulated momentum and put your leftover card in the strategy pile. For the first five turns, these will count towards the debate.

Campaign Strategy card Nixon = Soviet Economy (2CP Econ)
Campaign Strategy Card Kennedy = Fifty Stars (2CP Defense)
To PolCap bag: +3 Kennedy, 0 Nixon (12 Kennedy, 8 Nixon)

End of Turn 1: 308-229 +6



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